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ACROSS A CONTINENT AND
HALF A CENTURY

"The Civilisation of Africa" (1930) B/W 20mins
Vintage thirties travelogue from the days of the British Empire, complete with period commentary and music. The Union Express leaves Cape Town behind a brand-new 15CA loco and is piloted by a Mallet up the Hex River Pass.

Rhodesian 12th class locos are seen in Bulawayo Works and crossing the Victoria Falls with the Zambesi Express. The Benguela Railway Inaugural Special leaves with a 9th class loco and is then taken over by an early Garratt. On the Sudan Railways there are ex-works Atlantics and a Church Saloon, and finally a ride into Cairo station on the Egyptian Railways. Also featured are stern-wheel river steamers on the Nile and Congo, vintage road motors,hand-rickshaws, and classic British-type double-decker trams in CapeTown and Johannesburg.

"Birth of a Giant" (1946) B/W 10mins

Construction of the famous Beyer-Garratt articulated locomotive for South African Railways at the Gorton Foundry of the Beyer, Peacock Co. in Manchester. A visit is also paid to the North British Loco. Co. in Glasgow where an East African 2-8-2 is being shipped off from the Clyde.

"African Steam in Action" (1980) Colour 26 mins
In South Africa we see Cape Town's Table Bay dock shunters, a North British 2-8-4 on the Ladismith branch, and the impressive 25 class 4-8-4s, also from North British, charging across the desolate Karoo in one of the world's greatest displays of steam power. Zimbabwe is the last stronghold of the mighty Garratt: these giants of steam gather at the vast Bulawayo sheds and thunder along the Cecil Rhodes pioneer trail to Victoria Falls, delivering coal to Zambia from the huge Wankie Colliery complex which has its own steam-worked railway system.

Duration 56 minutes

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